Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Top Ten So Far ...


It's been awhile since I've participated in Top Ten Tuesday and I've missed my favorite weekly meme.  This week's topic didn't require much thought, so it seemed like a good time to jump back into the fun.  This time around, the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish want to know about the Top Ten Books I've Read This Year.  I always keep a running list of the books I've finished, using asterisks to mark those I enjoyed most, so it was a cinch to recall my favorites.  Here they are, in no particular order:






1.  The House at Riverton, The Distant Hours, and The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton—Since these three novels are by the same author, with lots of similarities in theme and story, I'm going to count them as one.  Morton excels at writing lush family sagas and I loved each of these.  If you forced me to choose a favorite from among the three, I'd probably go with The Forgotten Garden, but seriously, I enjoyed all of them.



2.  A Death-Struck Year by Makkia Lucier—Good historical YA novels are not exactly plentiful, so I'm always excited when I find one.  Especially when it's set in the same neck of the woods where I grew up (Portland, Oregon).  The novel concerns a wealthy teenage girl who's left alone in the city during the vicious Spanish influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918.  It's a tense, haunting story that kept me riveted.



3.  All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry—This spare, but lyrical YA novel centers around a young woman who hasn't spoken since she returned from a mysterious absence.  It tells an intriguing, suspenseful story.  All The Truth That's In Me won a well-deserved Whitney Award for Best General YA novel.



4.  Stung by Bethany Wiggins—Although this YA dystopian wasn't all that original, I still enjoyed the Sleeping Beauty twist on a familiar post-apocalyptic/zombie story.



5.  Cress by Marissa Meyer—The Lunar Chronicles is one of my very favorite YA series.  It's original, it's fun, it's clean, and it gets better with every installation.



6.  In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis—McGinnis' first book, Not a Drop to Drink, sucked me in so totally that it became one of my favorite books of last year.  While the sequel isn't quite as fresh, it still offers up a taut, harrowing tale of survival told in tight, gripping prose.



7.  A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd—This quirky MG novel is a fun, playful story about the power of words.



8.  Save the Cat by Blake Snyder—I've been hearing about this writer's Bible for years.  I finally read it and, yes, it definitely lives up to the hype.  If you're having trouble plotting your novel, definitely check out this guide for screenwriter's.  It's invaluable.



9.  Mississippi Jack by L.A. Meyer—This is the fifth book in another of my favorite YA series.  Like its predecessors, this novel tells a rollicking adventure tale starring the indomitable "Bloody" Jack Faber.  Jacky's one of my favorite YA characters of all time—it's impossible not to love her.


10.  Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana—An atmospheric MG novel about a young girl living in the Ninth Ward during Hurricane Katrina.  It's a gritty, but hopeful tale.

How about you?  What are your favorite books so far this year?

*All book images from Barnes & Noble

20 comments:

  1. I've heard a lot of good things about Kate Morton but never read any of her books! I'll really have to check her out one of these days!

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  2. I really need to read Cress. I've had it since release day, but haven't found time to read it! One of these days...

    My TTT.

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  3. Awesome list! I have Cress waiting on my dresser for me to read, and obviously I need to get to it soon! :)

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  4. I really enjoyed The Forgotten Garden... must read The House at Riverton and The Distant Hours soon!

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  5. I haven't read Kate Morton either. Snicker of Magic is showing up on several lists today. I'm in between books right now, so I might try Snicker next. Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere looks excellent--definitely adding that to be TBR list. Thanks!

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  6. I haven't read any Kate Morton, but I have heard good things about her so I"ll have to check her out. I want to read Save The Cat for the cover alone. :) Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

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  7. I've been meaning to read All the Truth that's in Me for ages. Great list!

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  8. I heard Cress was amazing, but I'm still in Cinder haha! I can't wait to read more of the series! :D great list. The books you chose are really interesting!

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  9. A Snicker of Magic! YES! Yours is the only list other than mine that I've seen it on so far, but definitely one of the most enchanting books I've read this summer. I love the Lunar Chronicles but haven't finished Cress yet. And Morton is an author I keep thinking I should read, but haven't yet. Someday!

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  10. I haven't read any on your list, but I've got a stack of Kate Mortons on my bookshelf that I really need to get to. I added a few to my wish list - great list!

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  11. I'm actually in the middle of The Distant Hours AND The Forgotten Garden! (Don't ask me how that happened, I'm not entirely sure myself. Consequently I'm constantly getting things confused haha) I've really enjoyed Kate Morton's books so far, despite the fact I haven't finished any haha!

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  12. Susan, you always read such interesting books! I only read The House at Riverton even though I have The Forgotten Garden. The others on your list ALL caught my attention.

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  13. I really need to get Cress! But then I'd have to re-read Cinder and Scarlet and that would take ages...

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  14. Great picks! All The Truth That's In Me and Upside Down In The Middle of Nowhere seems so interesting. Thanks for stopping my blog

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  15. I haven't read any of these but there are so many that are on my TBR list. Also some I haven't heard of so I'll be checking those out.
    Thanks for stopping by my TTT :)

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  16. I haven't read any of this but I got curious about All the Truth That's in Me, so I'm adding it to my TBR list )

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  17. I honestly don't know why I haven't read Not A Drop To Drink yet! I bought it the day it came out and recently I have been hearing people go on and on about this book and yet I still haven't actually read it, what is wrong with me? Also I love Lunar Chronicles! =)
    Thanks for stopping by he Story Goes...

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  18. I really need to start the Lunar Chronicles, I've heard so many good things about it! This year I enjoyed reading Fangirl. Great list, by the way.

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  19. I got The Forgotten Garden years ago and it's still sitting on my shelf. I keep reading that it's fabulous, but never got to it!

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